Icon of an Emperor

We're starting today's blog post with a bit of a history lesson. For those of you history buffs out there, listen up!

On this day in 1812, a turning point occurred during the Napoleonic Wars as Napoléon himself led the campaign to invade Russia, later crippling his army. Perhaps just remaining at home, drinking his mandarin orange liqueur, would have been the wiser choice. Oh, how hindsight is a beautiful thing...

I was reminded of this event in world history upon reading The Daily Sip email yesterday from Bottlenotes, a fantastic resource in the wine community online. The Daily Sip editors steered away from wine for an afternoon and decided to look at cocktails instead - more specifically they reviewed the Napoléon Cocktail.

What surprises me about the two versions of the Napoléon Cocktail that I have found adapted online is that while both recipes call for either Grand Marnier or Cointreau in some regards, neither recipe mentions Mandarine Napoléon as the orange liqueur of choice in the recipe. Seems somewhat surprising to me given that the spirit is in fact the product of Napoléon working with a chemist, Fourcroy, in the early 19th century to develop a liqueur of a cognac base with the maceration of mandarin oranges otherwise known as tangerines.

Perhaps Mr. Craddock, author of the Savoy Cocktail Book didn't have access to Mandarine Napoléon even though the recipe was commercialized and bottled starting in 1892, before Savoy was released. So today, over 200 years later, I will repost the Napoléon Cocktail recipe here, along with another lovely Mandarine-Dubonnet combination cocktail adapted by PDT's Jim Meehan. Give both cocktail recipes a try this weekend!


Napoléon Cocktail
  • 2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz Grand Mariner (or might I suggest Mandarine Napoléon)
  • 1/2 oz Dubonnet Rouge
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Napoléon's Opera (pictured above)
  • 2 oz Beefeater Gin
  • 3/4 oz Dubonnet Rouge
  • 1/2 oz Mandarine Napoléon
  • 1 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an orange twist (adapted by Jacques Straub, Drinks, 1914).


The Bar and Wine Show, 2011

If you ever happen to check out my column over at Bar None Drinks (in the great company of other columns from my other fantastic colleagues on there, as well!!), you may have noticed in my May column that I alluded to taking on a role this year at the Bar and Wine Show, a trade event for food and beverage professionals at NYC’s Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Well, the gig is up now! The printed leaflet landed on my desk late last week, so I guess there’s no backing down now ;)

My colleague Anthony King and I will be making a presentation at this year’s Bar and Wine Show and, I must say, that I’m excited for the opportunity. Our discussion on Social Media Marketing is all about “Putting Things in Perspective”. As we live and breathe social media in the beverage industry daily, our goal is to show demonstrable online successes of brands engaging in social networks, blogs, forums and ecommerce platforms. It is our goal to educate and (hopefully!) see more brands interacting with their consumers where they spend so much of their time – online.

“Social Media Marketing – Putting Things in Perspective” is slated for 1:00 pm on day one of the Bar and Wine Show, Tuesday, June 28. You can view the entire schedule of seminars, clinics, competitions and tastings by visiting the Bar and Wine Show online.

If you’ll be in New York for this jam-packed two-day trade event, I would be excited to say hello while at our seminar (I’m sure I could use the pep talk!!) or while roaming around the exhibition floor. As always, please reach out to me over Twitter at @drinks4thehouse or @stephaniejerzy.


It's Gruner Time!

We've been saying it for years but Austrian wine has arrived. Check out Gary Vaynerchuk's Daily Grape episode June 11 on Gruner Veltliner.

One of the things I really like about Gary's democratization of wine tasting ("give it a sniffy sniff") is to give us permission to personalize our palate. He gives a great taste analogy of minerality that really demonstrates that you don't need to use traditional wine wonk words to describe what YOU taste. He compares it to a time when he was a kid and got smacked in the mouth with an aluminum bat....THAT's what minerality means to him.

Check out the vid, then head out to your nearest wine store for the Loimer Kamptal Gruner Veltliner or the Stadt Krems Kremstal GV, both imported by Winebow. And a big thank you to Erin Grace and Jodi Stern of Winebow's Austrian Portfolio for facilitating the samples.

Here's a link to the review on Snooth with some links to e-commerce sites where you can order the wine if it's not available locally (and the Loimer in particular should be...it's one of the best-distributed Austrian GV's out there.)


Bienvenidos a Miami!

Bienvenidos a Miami!

I’m down in the Sunshine State for the next few days to meet with Marc de Kuyper, 11th generation of the de Kuyper family, as the Royal Dutch Distillers prepare for the upcoming Miami market launch of the company’s portfolio gem, Mandarine Napoléon.

I’ve never been to Miami before, so this is a fantastic opportunity for me to get to see firsthand some of the retailers in the marketplace, familiarize myself with many of the on-premise accounts, and get to know some of the faces behind the bar that are spearheading the cocktail movement in this vibrant city.

If you have any tips on how to experience Miami "Big Willy Style" or not-to-miss locales to recommend, I would most certainly welcome your suggestions in the comments section. Or, even more promptly, drop me a quick Tweet at either @stephaniejerzy or @drinks4thehouse.



A (Belated) MCC Recap

So it seems to be my M.O. recently that some of my blog posts are a bit, well, overdue. Forget the fact that it is now June, a recap of the very successful Manhattan Cocktail Classic is in order.

The five-day event kicked off with the Opening Gala, a humongous party at the New York Public Library where 3500 people imbibed with specialty cocktails crafted by many of the industry's most influential bartenders and ambassadors. Up on the hopping third floor, Anne Robinson of PDT was serving up the Opera Cocktail, a Mandarine Napoléon twist on the 1914 recipe from Jacques Straub's manual "Drinks". Here's the recipe:

Opera Cocktail: (as adapted by Jim Meehan, General Manager, PDT)
  • 2 oz. Beefeater Gin
  • .75 oz Dubonnet Rouge
  • .5 oz Mandarine Napoléon
  • 1 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an orange twist.

I also had the opportunity to see Dushan Zaric (Employees Only; Macao Trading Co.), Aisha Sharpe (Contemporary Cocktails), and Gaz Regan (Ardent Spirits) present The Mindful Bartender. Even having seen them all just one month prior at Pioneers of Mixology, I again thoroughly enjoyed the presentation.

We also had a blast on Tuesday night as the festival concluded with a sponsors-only Cocktail Charity Challenge scavenger hunt through NYC. The Charity Challenge found ourselves frantically running through the city, out to accomplish tasks ranging from the mild (take a photo jumping in Times Square, pictured) to the more outrageous (proposing to a uniformed NYPD officer on one knee). There are plenty more photos uploaded to the brand's Facebook Fan Page, so I encourage you to visit the site and check them out for yourself. The party ended over in Brooklyn, where the party was brought to an end with shots and beer from the Heineken USA portfolio.

My many thanks again go to Mandarine Napoléon for letting me participate in many of the weekend's events. Can't wait to see what the team behind the festival has in store for the Big Apple next year!